Malaysian workers highest in Asia looking for new jobs

Some 77% of Malaysians are also most open to moving abroad for new job opportunities

by S BIRRUNTHA/ pic credit: social.hays.com

AMID the uncertain economic climate, Malaysia recorded the highest number in Asia for employment demand with 52% of professionals actively looking for new jobs, according to the latest Hays Asia Salary Guide report.

The report said compared to other Asian markets, Malaysian respondents were most likely to do so due to the common denominator of higher salary, management and company culture, as well as lack of training or development opportunities.

Conversely, 41% of Malaysians also cited “work-life balance” as their top reason for staying with their current employers.

Meanwhile, 77% of Malaysians were also most open to moving abroad for new job opportunities compared to 66% of the rest of Asia.

“30% also said ‘flexible working options’ would be a reason to stay in their current jobs — the highest number in Asia to say so.

“Malaysia also has the highest number of respondents who did not use any flexible working options at all (55%), sending a clear message to employers about what would help them retain employees in a company,” the report stated.

However, 46% of employers still expect their permanent staff levels to increase over the next year, with 25% expecting their use of contracting and temporary staff to increase by 25%.

The research firm said this could point to flexible recruitment being a suitable solution for both sides, considering its ability to provide candidates and organisations with flexibility while optimising costs.

In terms of skills, 69% of Malaysians remained confident that their skills would still be in demand five years from now, which is the highest percentage to think so after Japan (72%).

Employers are even more so, with 62% saying they had the talent they needed to achieve their business objectives, which is again the highest number in Asia to think so.

Some 62% of Malaysians were also most confident about organisations becoming increasingly aware of the impact skill shortages could have in the coming year.

For Asia, the report stated that 2019 meted out market uncertainties that had some industries bracing for impact, despite having optimistic projections.

For this year, an increasing number of companies also expect to give no increments to their employees, a number that climbed from 6% in 2017 to 17% in 2019.

Of all the Asian regions, Japan expected the highest increase in staff (52%), as is evident from its tight labour market and falling unemployment numbers.

Hays Malaysia MD Tom Osborne (picture) said while 2019 was a challenging year for global economies, Malaysia had stayed resilient through re-industrialisation and rapid digitalisation.

“The results show that while employee retainment may be an ongoing workforce issue, the solutions lie in fostering positive workplaces, as well as flexible working options,” he added.

Hays plc is a leading global professional recruiting group, which operates across the private and public sectors, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments.

The report was generated based on 6,000 working professionals’ responses located in the five Hays operating markets in Asia, namely China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and Malaysia.